Hydro vacuum excavation – When and how you should use it

There can be confusion around hydro vacuum excavation, including it’s uses, terminology and how to best utilise this service. Let’s take a closer look at what is hydro vacuum excavation, when you will need to use it and how it should be used.

What is Hydro Vacuum Excavation?

Hydro vacuum excavation has many terms to describe it including hydro excavation, vacuum excavation, non destructive digging, vacuum digging, hydro digging and the list goes on. You may also have heard the use of vac truck or sucker truck, however these terms describe the machinery, not the service. Essentially hydro vacuum excavation is a non mechanical method of excavation that involves high pressure water and vacuum suction to simultaneously break down and evacuate soil and debris. This results in a clean cut of the earth with minimal disturbances to the surrounding environment.

What is Hydro Vacuum Excavation used for?

The benefits of hydro excavation are that it does not damage surrounding structures (hence the term non-destructive digging). It causes minimal disturbance and requires less clean-up of the surrounding environment, and it also has the ability to access tight areas thanks to the hose components that extend from the truck. These benefits lend it being primarily used in underground service locating to expose underground assets for visual inspection, survey, design, or prior to involving mechanical diggers. Vacuum excavation can however be used for many other activities including cleaning out pipes, trenching for installation of pipes and conduits and digging of post holes etc.

How should it be used?

So, we have established that hydro excavation is a safer alternative for exposing underground services and conducting other small scale excavations however, we find that confusion lies with whom to engage for the purpose that it is used for. If you need it for underground service locating to visually inspect, validate, and protect underground assets then it is best to engage a vacuum excavation contractor that is also Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) certified and Telstra and Optus accredited. This will save time and money, increase safety outcomes and most importantly ensure the correct critical assets are being located. Not only is it recommended by DBYD to have a DBYD certified locator onsite at the time of exposing assets (killing two birds with one stone!) but DBYD certified locators have the industry knowledge and expertise to know each utility owners requirements when working near or around their assets, including the right excavation pressures! Ensure that the company has been in the game for a while, industry experience is absolute key to better outcomes, call around and gauge your responses – the liability risks and costs are too great!

Here at Utility ID, we have extensive experience in the construction and installation of the underground services we now locate and protect, giving us an edge over our competitors. Our vac trucks operators are not only DBYD certified with extensive industry knowledge, they are also experienced in the construction industry, meaning we can undertake hydro excavation for any purpose guaranteeing you peace of mind of a job well done. If you are in the Darling Downs or Lockyer Valley then we would love to hear from you! Utility ID can guarantee you the industry expertise and knowledge to undertake safe vacuum excavation to help ensure you meet your duty of care obligations on your next project.

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